The Woodward News

October 23, 2013

Hospital holding Drug Take-Back Day

Rachael Van Horn
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — A push to decrease the risk of children being poisoned by unused medication laying around the house is behind a special program offered by Woodward Regional Hospital and the Woodward County Sheriff's Office.

National Drug Take-Back Day will be held Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. until noon at Woodward Regional Hospital.

The program offers those who have unused drugs a way to safely get rid of those old pills they did not use, said Woodward Regional Pharmacy Director, Rick Nance.

"The DEA sponsors this every year and I want to also thank the Sheriff's Department because they are taking the meds back and taking them to the Bureau of Narcotics for proper disposal," Nance said. "A lot of people know they shouldn't flush them because that is bad for the water supply, but they have these drugs and don't know what else to do with them."

Nance said one of the primary sources for drugs with teens who abuse drugs is unused medications not monitored by parents and grandparents.

In Nance's pharmaceutical career, he has witnesses several instances where young children have been poisoned by drugs left unattended.

Those interested in getting rid of old prescriptions can simply drove through the fountain area of Woodward Regional Hospital and drop them off without getting out of the car, Nance said. Syringes, needles and any kinds of pills will be accepted for disposal.

Nance, who worked for a community hospital in Georgia, said he has performed several of these programs in the past and was surprised by the response he received from the program.

"At the first one, we had a pretty good response, we got back about 400 pounds of meds and the second one, we got back 600 pounds," he said.

Nance also thanked fellow Woodward Regional Pharmacist Jana Sears for coordinating the event.